The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music datebook: A lot of new and old chamber music will be heard this week, and acclaimed master pianist Paul Badura-Skoda returns to Madison for a concerto and a recital

March 9, 2011
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A REMINDER: This weekend the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras hold their Winterfest Concerts this weekend in Mills Hall. On Saturday, March 12,  you can hear: at 11:30 a.m. Harp Ensemble & Sinfonietta; at 1:30 p.m. Percussion Ensemble & Concert Orchestra; at 4 p.m. Philharmonia Orchestra; on Sunday, March 13, at 2 p.m. the Youth Orchestra. For more information go to:

By Jacob Stockinger

Next week is Spring Break at the UW-Madison, after which a lot of concerts will begin the fast path toward summer intermission.

But in the meantime, there will be a lot of music to enjoy.

What figures prominently this week is chamber music in its various avatars, from the Baroque through the contemporary, from the duo pianos through string quartets and quintets.

But perhaps the biggest headline is the return of the internationally acclaimed pianist Paul Badura-Skoda to play a concerto and then a mammoth solo recital.

As for Saturday, well it is wonderful to have so many choices and terrible to have too make a choice.


Tonight at 7:30 p.m. in Mills Hall, the UW Contemporary Chamber Ensemble (below bottom) will perform under its artistic director UW composer Laura Schwendinger (below top), who recently premiered one of her own works, “Shadings,” at Carnegie Hall.  (See the positive review in this Tuesday’s edition of The New York Times via the link below).

Admission is free and open to the public.

The concert will feature three works by visiting composer Kurt Rohde: “Good Stuff” with Daniel Kim, viola, Kristine Rominski, flute and Ethan Martin, percussion; “Four Remixes” with Christopher Taylor, piano, Eleanor Bartsch, violin and Alison Rowe, violoncello; and “Four” in two movements for solo violin with Roxana Pavel.  Other works include Elliott Carter’s “Figment” with Daniel Kim, viola, and Tania Leon’s “Four Pieces” for cello with Alison Rowe.

Also tonight at 7:30 p.m., in Morphy Hall, the Arensky Trio (below) – which features two UW graduates — will perform on the UW Guest Artist Series. The performers are: Kangho Lee, cello; Kangwon Lee Kim, violin; and Ina Selvelieva, piano.

The program features “Meditation hebraique” for Cello and Piano by Ernest Bloch; Sonata for Cello and Piano in A minor, Op. 36 by Edvard Grieg; and Piano Trio, No. 2 in E minor, Op. 67 by Dmitri Shostakovich.

Kangho Lee made his orchestral debut with the Seoul Philharmonic at the age of 12 and has performed with the Korean Broadcast System (KBS) Symphony, Korean Symphony, Sofia National Academy Orchestra and Halle Philharmonic, among others.  He teaches at the Korea National University of Arts in Seoul.

UW alumna Kangwon Lee Kim (D.M.A. 2005) has given solo and chamber music recitals throughout the U. S. and in Korea, Canada, Switzerland and Norway.  She was assistant professor in violin and chamber music at Biola University from 2006-08.

UW alumna Ina Selvelieva (D.M.A. 2007) has appeared in numerous solo and chamber performances in her native Bulgaria and in Romania, Serbia and the U. S.  She was on the School of Music’s teaching staff from 2006-08.


At 7:30 p.m. in Mills Hall, the world acclaimed pianist Paul Badura-Skoda, who was an artist-in-residence at the UW in the late 1960s, will perform with the UW Chamber Orchestra (below top) under conductor James Smith (below bottom).

Admission is free and open to the public.

The program offers “Musik zu einem Ritterballett” (“Music for a Knights’ Ballet”), WoO (Work without Opus) 1 by Beethoven; “Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor,” K. 491 by Mozart; and “Chamber Symphony,” Op. 83a by Shostakovich, which is based on his famous String Quartet No. 8 in C Minor.

Paul Badura-Skoda (below) was born in Vienna in 1927 and made his official concert debut in 1948.  He has collaborated with many pre-eminent orchestra conductors of the second half of the 20th century, including Furtwangler, von Karajan, Szell, Boehm, Maazel, Mehta, Mackerras, Solti and Gardiner.  He recorded a vast repertoire on more than 200 LPs and dozens of CDs, including the complete piano sonatas of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert.

Badura-Skoda was Brittingham Professor of Music at UW-Madison in the spring of 1964 and artist in residence for five years from 1966-70.

In addition to his appearance with the UW Chamber Orchestra, he will perform a solo recital of Bach, Mozart, Schubert and Chopin at Farley’s House of Pianos on Saturday, March 12 at 7:30 p.m. For tickets, call (608) 271-2626. For more, see below.


The free Friday Noon Musicale, from 12:15 to 1 p.m. at the First Unitarian Society Meeting House, 900 University Bay Drive, features the Arensky Piano Trio. The trio consists of Ina Selvelieva, piano; Kangwon Kim, violin; Kangho Lee, cello. The program will be trios by Grieg and Shostakovich.

For information, call (608) 233-9774.

At 8 p.m. in Morphy Hall, the UW Graduate Percussion Quartet will give a recital. Admission is free and open to the public. Members are Sean Kleve, Brett Walter, Joe Murfin and Patrick Coughlin.

At 7:30 p.m. in St. Bernard’s Church in Middleton, 2015 Parmenter Street, the Bethel Choir (below) of Bethel University, St. Paul, Minn., will present a program of sacred choral music entitled “How Can I Keep From Singing?” It is part of a concert tour through the Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.

There is no charge for the tickets, although a free-will offering will be taken during the concert.

The Middleton High School Concert Choir will also appear at the concert.  The evening will close with a combined section, a traditional American Spiritual:” I’m Gonna Sing” arranged by Moses Hogan.

The Bethel Choir has received acclaim for its performances of choral literature in the United States and Europe as well as performances of major works with the Minnesota Orchestra. During a recent tour of Germany and Austria, the 70-voice choir was lauded as having “the perfect mixture of brilliant vocal control, powerful artistic sound, and musical vitality.”  Middleton High School alumna Melissa Haunty is currently serving as the choir’s business manager.


At 7:30 p.m. the Ancora String Quartet will perform in the Landmark Auditorium of the First Unitarian Society of Madison, where the group is in residence.

The program will open with Borodin’s String Quartet No. 1 in A Major, a work undeservedly overshadowed by the more frequently performed second quartet by that composer.  After intermission, the Ancora will be joined by Madison Symppony Orchestra principal cellist Karl Lavine for Schubert’s String Quintet in C Major, D. 956,  one of the most beautiful pieces of chamber music ever composed.

Tickets at the door are  $15 general admission, $12 seniors and students, and $6 children under 12. A champagne reception will conclude the evening.

For more information, visit:

On Saturday, March 12, at 7:30 p.m., pianist Paul Badura-Skoda (below) will present a solo recital at Farley’s House of Pianos.  The recital will include works by Bach (Partita No. 1), Schubert (Impromptus, Op. 90, Nos. 2 and 3) , Mozart (Fantasy in D minor and the Sonata in A minor, K. 310) and Chopin (3 Waltzes, 2 Nocturnes, Four Mazurkas, Op. 30. the Barcarolle and the Scherzo No. 2). Tickets are available through Farley’s or Orange Tree Imports.

A reception will follow the concert.

Tickets are $30, $25 for seniors and students. Call (608) 271-2626 or visit:

At 7 p.m., an intimate house music concert at the home of Trevor and Rose Stephenson, 5729 Forsythia Place, on Madison’s west side, will feature baroque chamber music by Bach, Leclair and Hotteterre.

The performers are Rebecca Meier, baroque flute; Eric Miller, viola da gamba; and Trevor Stephenson, harpsichord.

The program includes J.S. Bach’s Sonata in B minor for Flute and Harpsichord and the Sonata in G major for Viola da gamba and Harpsichord, plus selections by Leclair and Hotteterre.

Admission $35 with a limit of 40 seats, Light refreshments will be served. Reservations are required: contact or call (608) 238-6092.


“Sunday Afternoon Live from the Chazen” welcomes the Varshavski-Shapiro Piano Duet (below) on Sunday, March 13, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in Brittingham Gallery III at the Chazen Museum of Art. It will be broadcast live by Wisconsin Public Radio.

The piano duo will play Stravinsky’s “Petrouchka” original version for 1 piano 4 hands, Schubert’s “Lebenssturme” in A-minor, and Rachmaninoff’s “Six Pieces” Op. 11.

The duo consists of pianist Stanislava Varshavski and pianist Diana Shapiro.  The duo has been together since 1998 and has become one of the most renowned contemporary piano duos. In 2005 they won the 10th Murray Dranoff International Two Piano Competition. Varshavski and Shapiro have also won many awards internationally as well.

Members of the Chazen Museum of Art or Wisconsin Public Radio can call ahead and reserve seats for Sunday Afternoon Live performances. Seating is limited. All reservations must be made Monday through Friday before the concert and claimed by 12:20 p.m. on the day of the performance. For more information or to learn how to become a museum member, contact the Chazen Museum at (608) 263-2246.

A reception follows the performance, with refreshments generously donated by Fresh Madison Market, Coffee Bytes and Steep & Brew. A free docent-led tour in the Chazen galleries begins every Sunday at 2 p.m.

Posted in Classical music

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